As many now know, Saturday night saw one of the greatest upsets in UFC history. Women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, was knocked out by the number seven ranked challenger, Holly Holm. Holm knocked Rousey out with a cracking head kick about a minute into the second round, and left the former champ dazed and confused as she struggled to comprehend what had just happened.
Pictures of an unconscious Rousey have made their rounds through social media, and as the MMA world is still trying to pick up the pieces of one the most shocking results of all time, it poses a major question. What happens now to Ronda Rousey?
Before Ronda’s head even hit the mat, the rumor mill was in full motion. Will there be a rematch? Will Rhonda fight again? The fate of the former UFC 135 pound queen is still very much up in the air.
Ronda has been a figure head of the organization for years now. She has made countless TV appearances, commercials, movies, you name it. She also doesn’t mind talking herself up, and throwing insults at certain boxers, ehm Floyd, but with this absolutely humbling loss, not only does Rhonda’s ego take hit, but so does the UFC’s bank account. The league has built Rhonda up to be this unstoppable force that could never be beaten, and well, she got beat…bad.
Holm made it look as if Ronda had never put gloves on before in her life, and from the opening seconds, to the knockout blow, Holm was the better all-around fighter. Even when Rhonda tried to take it to the ground, Holm used excellent defense and brought the fight right back up to the feet.
Holm hit Rhonda like she has never been hit before, and exposed a fatal hole in her game. Now Holm has already said that she would be open to a rematch and that, since Rhonda was the champ, she has earned as much. Holm, who was a world champion boxer before making the switch to mixed martial arts, has been knocked out before in the ring and was given a chance to avenge her loss, so she stated that it was only fair that Ronda gets another crack too.
The only thing is that Ronda may not accept a rematch. Ronda didn’t just lose this fight, she got out classed from the get go. Holm played Rhonda like a fiddle, and with some expert boxing, made Rhonda look like a new born baby deer with some of her straight lefts to the chin.
If Rhonda were to take the rematch she would have to make a lot of changes. Holm demonstrated just how far Ronda is from being considered an elite level striker, and while Rhonda is a Judo wizard, Holm proved that with good boxing and good footwork, Ronda’s main attack could be neutralized. Ronda would need to learn some high level boxing, and after seeing just how far away she is from Holm, I don’t think she could ever catch up.
Numerous fighters have chimed in on this issue, including world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather and Rousey have exchanged words in the past, but after Saturday’s embarrassing loss, Floyd extended an olive branch and offered to help Ronda with her boxing. As generous of an offer as that is, I don’t think even Floyd could save her striking.
Another fighter and champion in his own right, Jose Aldo told reporters that if he were Rhonda he would hang up the gloves, and focus on making big screen money. “If I’m making money doing movies, I’d go that direction too”.
If Ronda were to however shake off this loss, and challenge for the belt, I can tell you right now it would be one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history. Not only would it break records financially, but it would give the fans true insight into exactly what kind of fighter Rousey really is. All the great champs have lost, but it’s about how well you can come back that truly matters.
Now, do I see Rousey coming back, yes I do. She has too much to lose if she walks away now, and once Dana White shows her the money offer for a rematch, I don’t think there is any way she could turn it down. That being said, I think we will see the same outcome.
The difference between Rousey’s boxing and Holm’s was day and night. They were two worlds apart, and the technique that Holm displayed cannot be learned in a matter of months. That type of skill takes years, and if Rhonda truly believes she can even get close to Holly’s level of striking, then she is doomed to get a repeat showing of Saturday night’s events.
Rhonda was due for a big piece of humble pie, and Holly was the perfect person to serve it to her. I couldn’t believe it when it was happening, but now that it has sunk in I can say with confidence that this is Holly’s division. Ronda can try, and I am sure she will, but Holm is light years ahead of her, and after Holly dishes Ronda a second loss in row, I believe it will be the last time we ever see Rhonda Rousey in the Octagon again.
By Jake Cianci